5 Ways to Make Your Lighting Shine, on a Dime!

by Kathy Wilson


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Lamps are a part of most rooms, but are overlooked as sources of design. You can easily add detail and charm to any lamp, making it more of a custom accessory in your room. Here are 5 great ways to dress up your lamps, and let them shine, on a dime!

  • Use a hole punch and punch holes all along the bottom of your lampshade, about one inch apart. Now weave a pretty ribbon in and out through the holes, creating a colorful edging to your lampshade. Other ideas include using leather cording, rustic twine, or silky embroidery thread to match your décor.

  • If the base of your lamp is a blast from the past, but it still works well, recover the base. You can wrap it in fabric and tie around the neck with pretty cording, or decoupage the entire base with tissue paper, gift wrap, or brown paper. You can even use spray paint to give it a glossy sophisticated finish. Try a glass black for real impact or a bright white for a cottage look. If you are tired of the bright brass finish of your floor lamp, try the new metal finish spray paints in brushed nickel or hammered copper. Just be sure to tape off and protect the light socket, and take it outside to avoid fumes.

  • Use household objects to create charm and style. Glue buttons to a shade for a country room, or pressed leave for a garden theme. A glue gun is essential here. You can pick one up in any craft aisle for a couple of dollars. Try bottle caps for a boy's sports room or even glittering stickers for your little princess. Leftover trim or fringe along the bottom edge dresses up any lampshade.

  • Something as simple as changing the type of lightbulb you use can make a huge difference. Try a pink bulb. The warm light is very flattering and comforting. You can find them in the light bulb aisle of any store. For real drama, pick up an uplight from the home improvement center for about $10, and place it in a corner, behind a plant, or on top of an armoire for beautiful drama and shadows on the ceiling.

  • If your lamp is too small for your table, you can give it more importance by adding height. Set it on some stacked books, or cover a sturdy cardboard box with some pretty fabric and use it as a base. Lamps do not have to match in a room. Look around other areas of your home and see if switching around some lighting may better fit your needs.

Don't overlook the importance of lighting in a room. It doesn't have to be boring, and it doesn't have to be expensive. A few quick details can "turn on the lightbulb" of creativity!


Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator. For hundreds of free budget decorating tips, and to sign up for her free newsletter and ebooks, visit her at www.TheBudgetDecorator.com

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